HanesBrands, a leading global marketer of everyday basic apparel, including sheer hosiery and legwear under Hanes, L’eggs, Just My Size and other brands, announced that it will add 120 jobs to expand the scope of production at its Clarksville, Ark., sheer hosiery plant to take the place of offshore outsourcing.
The Clarksville plant, 1904 W. Clark Road, is one of the largest hosiery knitting facilities in the world and has a workforce of approximately 450 today. In cooperation with the city of Clarksville, Johnson County and the state of Arkansas, the company decided to increase employment at its Clarksville plant to add finishing and packaging of Hanes and designer hosiery sold at department stores. That work is now outsourced and conducted offshore.
“We are delighted to be able to add jobs at our Clarksville plant,” said Javier Chacon, Hanes senior vice president of global operations. “It is not easy for a U.S. plant to compete with offshore competitors, but the capabilities of our plant workforce and management team in Clarksville to continuously adapt, automate and improve efficiency is a testament to the resiliency of this facility since it opened in 1988.”
The plant’s competitiveness also is aided by its scale and size, superior product quality, leading safety record, lower U.S. energy costs, and proximity to the U.S. market.
“I am so proud of this plant and our employees,” Plant Manager Cathy Stalcup said. “The hosiery business has been impacted for more than two decades by workplace trends away from formal dress to casual business attire, but our employees’ commitment to flexibility, knowledge of automation and dedication to quality and safety has kept the Clarksville plant at the forefront of global competitiveness.”
The new jobs will average approximately $39,000 per year in wages and benefits, a $4.7 million economic infusion into the local economy each year. Hanes expects to invest approximately $1.5 million to buy and install additional machinery and to relocate and upgrade its packaging and dyeing operations.
“As companies continue to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., we are committed to making Arkansas a leader in job creation and manufacturing,” said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “Thanks to HanesBrands for its decision to make this significant expansion in Arkansas. The fact the company chose to expand this specific facility demonstrates the quality of our workforce in Clarksville.”
Unlike most apparel companies, Hanes manufactures the majority of its products in company-owned plants in its global supply chain. For the North American market, Hanes currently knits all of its sheer hosiery in Clarksville, splits the sewing of seams for the knit hosiery between Clarksville and a company-owned facility in El Salvador, and splits the finishing and packaging of hosiery between Clarksville for mass retailers and an offshore contractor for department stores. The expansion will result in all finishing and packaging being conducted in Clarksville. The company also operates hosiery manufacturing facilities in Europe for the European market.
A decade ago, the Clarksville plant had 480 employees, approximately the same as today. Over the past decade, the plant has adapted and added new work and capabilities, including the consolidation of the company’s product development labs for hosiery and seamless apparel. Today, the plant even makes some seamless knit bras, such as Bali Comfort Revolution seamless bras.
The Clarksville plant is an important provider of jobs in the community and contributor to the stability and quality of life. More than 85 percent of the plant’s employees have at least 10 years of service with the company.
“I have seen many changes over the years, which has resulted in amazing opportunities for me personally and for others,” 13-year Hanes Clarksville employee Miriah Jones said. “I have always felt extremely blessed about how much we have grown and been successful over the years. Big changes and opportunities are coming and with that comes great pride and responsibility to be working for such a valuable team.
Hanes worked with and appreciates the assistance of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Johnson County Economic Development Corporation to bring the additional jobs and associated economic influx to Clarksville. The agencies are providing approximately $900,000 in job development incentives and training assistance.
“HanesBrands has been an outstanding corporate citizen in our community for so many years, and this expansion will help the wellbeing of our community and contribute to continued long-term steady growth,” Clarksville Mayor Mark Simpson said. “It’s with great honor that we continue to partner with HanesBrands.”
Travis Stephens, CEO and chief economic development officer for the Clarksville-Johnson County Regional Chamber of Commerce, added, “We appreciate Hanesbrands’ confidence in our workforce and their substantial commitment to continued growth in our community. We're also excited that this was our first opportunity to utilize our local economic development funds for incentives and partner with the state to help attract more jobs to Clarksville.”
Anyone interested in applying for the new jobs must do so through the Arkansas Workforce Services office in Clarksville.
HanesBrands, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic apparel under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands in the Americas, Asia and Europe, including Hanes, Champion, Playtex, DIM,Bali, Maidenform, Flexees, JMS/Just My Size, Wonderbra, Nür Die, Lovable and Gear for Sports. The company sells T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear, men’s underwear, children’s underwear, socks, hosiery, and activewear produced in the company’s low-cost global supply chain. Ranked No. 530 on the Fortune 1000 list, Hanes has approximately 55,900 employees in more than 35 countries and takes pride in its strong reputation for ethical business practices. Hanes is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star 2014, 2013 and 2012 Sustained Excellence Award winner and 2011 and 2010 Partner of the Year award winner. The company has been ranked on Newsweek magazine’s list of Top 500 greenest U.S. companies. More information about the company and its corporate social responsibility initiatives, including environmental, social compliance and community improvement achievements, may be found at www.Hanes.com/corporate.